New York

Nigel Cooke

Andrea Rosen Gallery

Nigel Cooke holds a doctorate in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, London, where he wrote a thesis on the death of painting in the twentieth century. To begin by mentioning this fact might seem to be stacking the deck if a concern with the medium’s various historical demises did not figure so markedly in the British artist’s work—but it does, to the extent that he titled his second solo show at Andrea Rosen Gallery “Dead Painter.” The phrase encompasses art-historical corpses (skulls and bearded old men populated the six oils and two drawings on view) as well as Cooke himself, as one who paints what’s died. Indeed, the young English artist is not painting the end of painting so much as he is painting about the end of painting: His bile-colored canvases are phantasmagoric graveyards where the medium’s conventions and contraries have come to collide and expire and, in so doing, sustain his practice.

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